Saturday, December 31, 2011

"The End of the World" now out in Kindle

Dear friends, family and readers:
A very wonderful new year 2012 to you all!

Thank you so much for your wonderful support and enthusiasm during my publishing struggles and adventures.

I wanted to let all of you know that "The End of the World" is about to be published in Kindle (in around 24 hours, as we speak) and that you can soon download it on your Kindles.

I will also soon have my novel "Loving the Enemy" available as an e-book online shortly. Thank you all again for your thoughtful support and love of literature.

I hope this new year brings you new joy and new directions for spiritual and planetary growth. Love to all, Sushma

Monday, December 19, 2011

Daily Times of Pakistan

The Daily Times has a reportage of our reading: Ameena Hussein, writer and publisher, Sri Lanka; Sushma Joshi, writer and film-maker, Nepal; Ayesha Salman of SDPI Pakistan; and Harris Khalique, human rights activist and development practitioner of Pakistan, said the literature works as a means to expand minds and to provide deep insights on social and political issues that should be expressed to attain the greater goal of human development. Read the article here.

Visting Pakistan

I visited Pakistan from 12-17 December. This was my first time there, and I was surprised by several things. Stay tuned for my op-ed!
Here are the links to the conference in which I presented in the panel on literature, titled appropriately `Literature in South Asia: building bridges through fact and fiction`, along with Ayesha Salman of Pakistan and Ameena Hussein of Sri Lanka.
It was a very interesting conference that brought together people from all over South Asia. Perhaps the most interesting part was the swing towards "looking East". For more, read on: Crises in West necessitate looking towards East for development

Friday, December 16, 2011

A reading I gave at SDPI's Fourteenth Sustainable Development Conference 13-15 December 2011, Islamabad, Pakistan

Fiction and the Facts: Writing the History of Development in Nepal
Sushma Joshi*
Literature and social change has always gone hand in hand since the invention of the written word. As a writer, I have always written fiction and non-fiction simultaneously. I have been a regular contributor to the Kathmandu Post since 1998. For the past two years, I wrote a widely-read op-ed column, “The Global and the Local.” My intention was to bring liberal and critical thinking skills to a Nepali middle class readership, and to highlight social justice issues as if they mattered. I feel I have succeeded, when I see young people with good education actively competing to get their works printed in the newspaper.
Just as I draw upon fictional techniques to engage the reader in serious reportage, I do the opposite with fiction—I do not leave it all up to my imagination, but often draw from the treasure trove of real life stories I have heard as a journalist and social change activist in Nepal. My aim is always to tell these stories with greater authenticity and accuracy—paradoxically, this may entail me to move away from pure “facts” to a more imaginative terrain involving emotions, dreams, myths and other things that find no place in a UN report on human rights violations. This subjectivity, by itself, imbues the work with an authenticity not possible with an objective narration.
I will read a short story of mine "Waiting for Rain", then discuss the ways in which issues of development are unfolding in this particular moment in time (1998-1999) in Nepal. In this story, the People's War is also just starting to take off. The main character is affected by political corruption and this effectively ends his chances of getting connected to mainstream development efforts, which have also been seized by a powerful local political leader. The story looks at many of the underlying reasons for why Nepal still remains underdeveloped today.
I will end by talking about how the work of the writer can never be subservient to the needs of social change—if done with an end in mind, it becomes propaganda. But if truthful to its stated intent, fiction writing that comes from the heart can often touch people in a way that thousand reports cannot.
*Sushma Joshi is a writer and filmmaker from Kathmandu, Nepal.  Her book, “The End of the World”, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award in 2009 and is available in bookstores in Thailand, Hongkong, Singapore and the USA. Her novel, “Loving the Enemy”, will be published in 2011.  Her short film, “The Escape”, was accepted to the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2007.